Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
591 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Short story: Have new custom steel frame, not happy with powdercoat at all, would like to repaint/powder with custom twist.

(story will remain redacted because there is no point in getting into it and I have no desire to have *big name powercoater*'s lawyers breathing down my neck, which they apparently like to do judging from other unhappy internet postings)

Custom Twist:

I'm a bit of an artist, at least when it comes to acrylic on canvas, and want to try my hand on the bike. (I'm done trying to get painters to make something "cool" and I don't want a flat, solid color bike)

Catch:

I have NO IDEA how to accomplish this.

I know I don't have the equipment/skills to get a good base or clear coat, so I'd like to have that professionally done (two trips: base coat, me play, clear coat. This shouldn't be an issue logistically with a local painter).

My acrylic company has informed me that if I sand and use an acrylic primer I can use my acrylics and then have an automotive clear put on. But I cannot have it powdercoated (heat is a problem).

I'm worried about the sanding since I'm not doing a uniform coat of paint just some artistic designs (think pegoretti, but not...), and I don't want the places where the base shows through to look gross and sanded...

Has anyone done similar? ideas on paint types (I'm far from sold on acrylics)? Paint that will "stick" to powder or liquid without sanding or a lot of prep? Way to do this with powdercoat or do I have to do liquid finish stuff to avoid the heat? Techniques that will help? Ideas? Irrelevant drivel that might inspire something? Sanding techniques so that the base still looks good when cleared?

(I will be using a brush, not an airbrush for the paint. Might be open to paint pens or similar).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
591 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! Waiting on them to confirm my registration so I can see his pictures, but the thread has some good tips regardless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,429 Posts
You need to work DIRECTLY with a local painter. I'd suggest someone who paints hot rods or custom motorcycles as they'll have more concern and passion with regard to what you're doing. They'll likely be aware of any conflicts with differing styles of paint, as well as what works good together. Expect to pay a premium for this type of cooperation. In fact, you should be the one to offer to pay the upcharge.

Of course, if you have a local bicycle painter available, so much the better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
591 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good call Peter, and that is my intention.

I am certainly willing to pay a bit of a premium for the 2 sessions and any painting advice.

I have found a local powdercoater that seemed very willing to work with me, unfortunately it looks like the powdercoating process itself may not work out due to the heat treating issue. Still I think I'll use them to strip the frame regardless since they've been helpful and understand powder.

(Edit: I'll give him a shout out since he was so helpful. Premium Powdercoating in Longmont, http://www.premiumpowdercoating.com/ )

So, I guess that leads me to a follow on question:
Recommendations for painters in the Boulder, CO area that might be up for this sort of work?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
586 Posts
I have been in the car paint business for 30 years. A very important step in the process is going to be the primer or sealer that you lay the base coat over. Many companies make a base coat that leave very long windows for your painting without sanding. I would even recommend that you have it based and cleared. That way if you make an error, you can just wipe it off. Then once you lay down your aret, you just have it cleared again. The original clear would have to be sanded with an ultra fine paper prior to your artwork, but it would never show once cleared. I don't know how well acrylics would work, but you could check with a pin striper. Most of those guys just use sign paint. This whole process will be expensive because the product has to be high end. You don't need to pay a premium, the guy will just charge you for whatever time it takes. Find a good automotive paint store (look in auto body section of yellow pages) ask them for advise. They won't have a problem talking to you about it. Then ask them if they know someone who would do small side job. Most painters would. It's an easy type job to do in their garage. I don't know if it's still available, but there was a chip resistent clear that went on the front of lexus that might give you additional toughness. It will never hold up like powder coat though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
591 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Vontress; good info!!

The paint and clear as a base makes a lot of sense the way you put it, and I hadn't considered it before. That's definitely something I'll discuss with the painter I choose as an option.

I hear you on expensive, though I suspect the process won't be any more expensive than what the disaster that's on the bike now cost. Less than a week old and I plan to have it stripped before winter is up....

Not opposed to paying to get it done right; that's what I thought I was doing the first time and what I'll do this time...hopefully more successfully. The stripping alone is going to cost since there's at least 2 full renditions of powder on it now (no, there shouldn't have been two) *sigh*.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
586 Posts
If you like the color of the powder coating, you may ask around if the powder coating could be sanded with like a 1200 grit sandpaper and the art put on then clear. Seems like it would work. You would certainly get a physical adhesion, but probably no chemical adhesion. This would take a bit of expertise. Talk to hot rod painters, paint stores, pin stripe guys. I could do research for you. Having multiple bodyshops gives me access to a lot of paint experts. I'm on vacation until Monday though. I'll log on then and see if you need help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
I have painted many cars and bikes and have done exactly what you are talking about several times so even if others think this won't work it will.
You don't have to remove all of the powder coat, you can get some 400-600 grit wet sand paper (I don't have the patience for 1200 grit and 4-600 works fine if you are clearing over) and wet sand the frame thoroughly, make sure there are no shiny spots anywhere. After sanding this is now your "base" coat. Here is the part people might argue with but for your color coat just buy a can of Krylon spray paint in any color you like, flat finish is best so your acrylics will stick.
Go crazy with your artwork, don't worry about time because the flat paint can be painted over at any time. I have used acrylics, water based, sharpie pens etc and haven't had any problem with any of them.
The tricky part is the clear coat, you will have to use automotive clear coat which requires special equipment. The tricky part is the first coat, since you will have paint on the frame that is not hardened you have to go on with a very dry coat the first coat or two so your artwork doesn't bleed. After the dry coats have dried they can apply a couple normal topcoats.
I know is sounds crazy but Krylon is not much different than old automotive lacquer paint so it will work and will not have any reactions with urethane clear coats.
Hope this helps, I have a couple pictures of my bikes I have painted if you look up them up under my screen name.
Rusty
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
591 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Awesome info rtarh20!

Have you ever painted with acrylics over a liquid finish spray or maybe uncleared powder?

Honestly I just don't want to deal with attempting Krylon myself even though I know if I'm patient and get a decent setup it will look and stick fine.

Great to know you've successfully used acrylics; that was a huge amount of my worry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
CougarTrek, I am not sure what you mean by "liquid finish" spray but I am pretty sure you won't have any problems with any cured paint once you give it a good scuffing with sandpaper or a scotch brite pad (you can buy these at paint stores, home depot etc)
Applying the color coat over the sanded frame is pretty easy, just takes time. I mount my frames on a pole in the head tube so it is hanging, this way I can get around all sides of the frame with paint. It takes several light coats to get everything covered without any runs but if you go with light coats that won't be a problem.
The time I painted a frame like you are talking (Pegoretti like) I got some PVC tubing and painted it for practice and to find out what I liked (designs, colors etc) I am no artist but once I just sort of forgot about making it perfect and let things flow it looked pretty artistic plus it was fun.
Good luck
Rusty
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
586 Posts
I don't doubt rtarh2o has had luck with doing this stuff. Paints can be fairly flexible if you stay within a few guidelines. One thing that is very fifficult to do is paint part of the surface with an old lacquer type product on part of the surface and then have part of it either 2 stage or powder coat. What you will get is a wrinkled cracking look on the edges where the 2 products meet. The reason is that the 1 component product will absorb the cleatcoat materail and the powder coat will not allow the penetration. Picture 1K component as a sponge and the 2k component as glass. The sponge absorbs water and swells and the glass rejects the water and doesn't change. The sponge now is thicker. That's where swelling comes in. Sorry for chemistry lesson. If whole surface is krylon or any 1k product, I think it would work. I really don't know much about the acrylics your speaking of but my guess is that it would work fine. I think the idea of a test panel is a no brainer. You should definitly do that. As to 400 grit paper, I would say no, unless coated with a few coats of paint. 600 OK maybe. Really just go with manufacturers recommendation here. 1200 grit would add 20 min to your job. Safer to add time and not see scratches.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
586 Posts
Just reading others post. There is no clear on the market that will cover 400 grit scratches and no high end auto clear that will fill 600 scratches. Only OK if applying paint first.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top